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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.


The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Every Time You Say "I Believe in Global Warming" a Fairy Dies...

Recently, someone was telling me...

hmm. well, I wouldn't want to look like the stupid <bleep!>, but I've been seing some things lately that make me think a lot of the current hysteria over global warming is bunk. at least the human generated part of it.

much of what I've been reading is summarised here but you can find similar facts in other places.

No problem, Zac. One of the unfortunate things about this "controversy" is that despite the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community (particularly climatologists) that global warming is real and that human beings are a major contributor to the crisis, there's a tremendous amount of disinformation put out there. For example, the site you linked to, is a set of mirror pages from "Plant Fossils of West Virginia." In other words, that dispassionate, authoritative debunking of global warming comes straight from West Virginia coal interests.

Don't worry about it, though. There are some actual scientists out there who sharply criticize global warming -- in particular those being paid by oil and coal companies to do so. And there are even a few legitimate scientists with real credentials -- who haven't, actually, ever written a single peer-reviewed paper on global warming -- who also criticize the field.

Now, "Big Oil" can still argue (by proxy) that "all the evidence isn't in" and "Global Warming is just a theory," and they have a point. As they would with the Theory of Gravity. After all, we're still studying gravity and still trying to detect gravitational waves.

How do we know that we aren't all being pulled to the center of the Earth by invisible, ephemeral, (imaginary) fairies? How do we know the Earth isn't being warmed up by an invisible death ray from a cloaked Vogon warship in deep space? How do we know that the thousands upon thousands of kids and old people who die from their asthma during major atmospheric inversions actually died from the particulate matter reducing their lung capacity, and not from invisible fairy dust?

Really, we can't prove any of the above false, so why do we assume something else is true?

After all, dealing with global warming would mostly mean eliminating vast amounts of waste and hence lost money in the world's economy, which would mean that "facing up to it" would make us all richer in the end, as well as eliminating some other minor problems, like all those people dying of inversions and industrial-exhaust particulates... I mean fairy dust. I wonder who is making vast amounts of money from the existing situation, and who would stand to lose immense sums if we changed?

Well, at any rate, we can't believe that oil and coal are finite resources, or that global warming is real. After all, every time you say, "I believe in global warming" a fairy dies. And every time you say, "I believe in whatever Exxon is saying now," a fairy gets her wings. Um... right?

Here's a different perspective. Instead of leaping off a cliff and trusting to the fairies to catch you, instead of assuming virtually the entire scientific community is lying and only the brave oil and coal companies and oil-based dictatorships of the world are telling the truth, consider taking some basic steps that can only benefit you, instead of making that leap of faith.

Because it's a long way down.

Future Imperative

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Retrotech "Force Fields" -- New Research from DARPA

Yes, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is now working on "force fields."

"Asymmetric, or 'one-way,' materials will support basic unit operations such as raids, cordon and search activities, snap checkpoints, and fire fights," according to military budget documents. "Friendly forces will be able to see through [one of these new materials] and shoot through it, but hostile forces will not." Such shields will also have "the ability to 'self-heal' if necessary. The materials must be lightweight, respond instantly, and be easy to deploy and retract in confined spaces."

Of course, technically these won't be the force fields you're used to from much of science-fiction, but the idea of an invisible, self-repairing shield that can render troops or police invisible while blocking adversaries weapons and allowing lasers to fire out under certain tight frequencies is an interesting idea.

Future Imperative

Global Warming Maps -- Going Deep

Maps are now available which show how much of the coastline near you will be inundated if water levels change between one and fourteen meters. Simply go to the maps, expand the image to take in the entire planet, center the map on your area of interest, and zoom in. And, of course, change the sea level elevations to whichever height you find most interesting.

Future Imperative